This is the Final Report to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) on the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors’ (ASCLD’s) Data Collection on Forensic Service Providers, a project to determine the full scope of forensic science services provided in the United States beyond those provided by publicly funded, accredited crime laboratories.
Beyond determining the number of forensic service providers in the United States, ASCLD also determined how many of these providers were accredited and how many were examining and/or testing crime-scene evidence using criminalistics methods. This data collection was partly motivated by the 2009 legislation from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee intended to improve the overall delivery of forensic science services in the United States. The current project provides stakeholders, policymakers, and practitioners with accurate data on who is providing forensic science services in the United State and also facilitates accountability and professionalism across a broader spectrum of forensic service providers in the U.S. justice system. The data collection began in May 2010 and concluded in December 2013.The definition of a forensic services provider for this data collection was limited to organizations that have at least one staff member who spends a minimum of at least 50 percent of their time on forensic services. Data were collected from 1,033 forensic providers in the states that participated in the data collection. On average, each state had 22 forensic providers participating in the data collection. The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Tennessee did not participate in the data collection, because ASCLD was not able to identify a volunteer to be a State Coordinator who was either informed on the subject matter or had sufficient time to participate in the project. Approximately 70 percent of the providers identified in the data collection were not accredited by a forensic accrediting body. 2 exhibits